Monthly Archives: January 2013

Friday Late Movie: Saturn 3


Poll: Future Poems for Blogging

Here’s the poll I mentioned last time.  If you haven’t read the last post, use the link to go there and do so.  Then, come back here to respond to the poll.  I look forward to hearing from you!

Upcoming Poll!


Last night I was fooling around with tools I hadn’t really used before on WordPress, and I decided I’d try the poll function.  There are still plenty of Rubá’iyát to continue the “Rubá’í of the Day” series for at least another year.  As I’ve mentioned before, though, I’m pondering what (if anything) to replace it with when it eventually completes its run.  I have some ideas, but reader feedback would be helpful.  It’s also a good excuse to experiment with polls, so what the heck!

In this post, I’ll give a brief description of the possible alternatives I’m thinking about.  Next post will be the actual poll.  Remember, it has to be something available in the public domain (thus, printed before 1923, at the present time)–I don’t want issues with copyright.   A brief description of possible options I’m looking at is below the cut.

Read the rest of this entry

Rubá’í of the Day

Weak souls, who from the world can not refrain,
Hold life-long fellowship with rule and pain;
Hearts free from worldly cares have store of bliss,
All others seeds of bitter woe contain.

Rubá’í of the Day

Against death’s arrows what are buckles worth?
What all the pomps and riches of the earth?
When I survey the world, I see no good
But goodness, all beside is nothing worth.

Rubá’í of the Day

The good and evil with man’s nature blent,
The weal and woe that heaven’s decrees have sent—
Impute them not to motions of the skies—
Skies than thyself ten times more impotent.

Rubá’í of the Day

From right and left the censors came and stood,
Saying, “Renounce this wine, this foe of good”;
But if wine be the foe of holy faith,
By Allah, right it is to drink its blood!

STTMP, Part 4–Script

This story conference doesn't look like it's going to go well....

This story conference doesn’t look like it’s going to go well….

Previous installments are  here, here, and here.

Practically every name science fiction writer was suggested to write the script: Ray Bradbury, Robert Silverberg, Theodore Sturgeon, and Harlan Ellison, to name a few (the latter two had written scripts for TOS, in fact).  Finally, the decision was made to go with a script that was originally to have been the pilot episode of Star Trek:  Phase II.  The script was “In Thy Image”, about a damaged and repaired space probe returning to Earth (personal quibble–it ought to be “In Thine Image”–the form with the euphonic “n” comes before vowels).  One could be charitable and say that if waste were recycled as much as this script, we’d live in a garbage-free utopia….

“In Thy Image” is essentially a remake of TOS epidose “The Changeling“.  Insofar as it features an Inexplicable Looming Menace From Space, the script is similar to the episodes of TOS  The Doomsday Machine” and  “The Immunity Syndrome” (this theme would be reused yet again in Star Trek IV:  The Voyage Home).  In the theme of Kirk having to reason with or outfox an implacable computer, the script resembles “The Ultimate Computer“, “Return of the Archons“, and “The Changeling” once more.  At least re-writing its own episodes is a venerable Trek tradition!

In any case, fans immediately caught the derivative nature of the plot, and this has been much discussed and derided.  It is also a long-standing custom to beat up on the extremely long FX shots with the actors doing nothing more than giving silent reactions, while the movie drags ponderously along.  These are valid criticisms, but they have long been made and are a part of fan lore.  Moreover, even a derivative re-write could have been done well, and excessive length is as much a matter of editing as script.  What I want to do is look at other problems with the script that in my view have not been adequately discussed.

Read the rest of this entry

Quote of the Week


What is it that we humans depend on? We depend on our words… Our task is to communicate experience and ideas to others. We must strive continually to extend the scope of our description, but in such a way that our messages do not thereby lose their objective or unambiguous character …We are suspended in language in such a way that we cannot say what is up and what is down. The word “reality” is also a word, a word which we must learn to use correctly.

–Niels Bohr, quoted in Philosophy of Science Vol. 37 (1934), p. 157, and in The Truth of Science : Physical Theories and Reality (1997) by Roger Gerhard Newton, p. 176; courtesy of Wikiquote.

Rubá’í of the Day

Did He who made me fashion me for hell,
Or destine me for heaven? I can not tell.
Yet will I not renounce cup, lute, and love,
Nor earthly cash for heavenly credit sell.